Sunday, February 28, 2010

Longest LSD ( so glad that's over)

Rather late entry I know, but with nothing to do on this hot afternoon other than watching me other half kiwi-ing his shoes ( he's been doing that for an hour now) I reckon I better do this now before I forget the details.

Like I wrote before, this week's LSD was done on Friday morning. To tell you the truth, sometimes it's becoming a drag to wake up at 4.30 to prepare for that 5 am run. My mind screams," Why do I have to do this? Why can't I run a marathon without training?" And I envy all those people in their houses,still dark,  still deep in their slumber. It's the same routine, I wake up, get dressed, have a snack, wake my parents to turn off the alarm so that we can go out and then, pound on. Yes, sometimes it is a drag and I'm just being human to admit that. On some days I can't wait for that LSD but last Friday was my blah day.
So anyway, we started at 5 am. You may be wondering, " Why do these crazy people start so early?." Well, we figured the earlier we start, the earlier we could finish and get back to the kids. I really hate to trouble my parents with the kids for too long even though they insisted that they didn't mind . And I really do wish I could run faster. Not to be the king of the road or anything but faster to get it over with sooner. But what to do meh? Slow pun slow la.

Anyway ( berapa banyak anyway da), like I said, we started pounding. 10 minutes into the run, two motorbikes going the opposite direction slowed when they came near us. We were a bit annoyed because we thought they were some jakun mat rempits. They didn't say a word and we couldn't see their faces due to their glaring lights. Only when they turned back did we realize that they were police officers on their patrolling shifts. Ye la kan, sape tak heran tengok orang lari pagi-pagi buta.In a kampung. Moreover, I was running in front and hub was running behind me. I betcha they thought I was being chased or something. But we were really glad to know these officers were doing their job to keep the area safe ( or at least make running safe for us)

We did our first loop of 10K or so and stopped for a pit stop solat at our house.Then we continued to run to the end of the kampung 's main road, back to my parent's house to complete at least 17KM. Made another compulsory pit stop as hub's pants were drenched in sweat and he had to change. The pants were squeaking each time he took a step and it was getting a bit annoying. We ventured on further  to complete the remainder of the run.
As this was the furthest distance I ever ran, I tell ya, the last 5K went on forever. I don't know if I hit The Wall or not but I almost screamed ' Screw this' and stopped. My legs were fine, they didn't hurt other than the usual fatigueness but I just ran out of will I guess. But I hate to think that I'll have to qada this run another day if I didn't complete this, so I treaded on. I alternated walks and runs each 400m till the last KM. And when I was done, I was so glad to get the furthest LSD over with. And  was so relieved that next week will only be 22K. It's funny, a year ago I would have never been glad to look forward to a 22k run.

Anyway, our last stop was back at our house and to think of walking/running back another 2 miles in the hot mid day sun to fetch the children at my parent's was so tiring ( our car was parked there also). And to top it all off, hub forgot that his motorcycle's keys were in the car. So he got on his bicycle and cycled back to my parent's house, fetched the keys and cycled back home. Why not just take the kids back? Well, he was imagining himself in a dualthlon and was so into it that he insisted to do that 4 mile cycle despite having cold clammy hands and stomach cramps ( I suspect he was dehydrated). Huh, men.

Anyway, we got back to my parent's house on the motorcycle. That sure ignited old memories, back to the time when we were just married and got around in KL on the motorbike. Although we had a car then, but getting around with the bike was much easier especially during traffic jams.

Itu je la kot. Well, that's our LSD story this week.
The end.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

What's Eating Gilbert Grape(fruit)

I'm up to my nose with work nowadays. Nak update pun terkedot-kedot.
I'm swarmed with meetings, courses, campaign planning and  keying in datas. Oh, did I mention I had 50 patients today ? And adding to all that, I misplaced the diary I used to jot down the minutes of Monday's meeting. And I'm supposed to hand that in early next week.
It such a wonder how the government whine about their doctors resigning by the dozen when they still insist on this 'perah-selagi-boleh- policy. We're clearly overworked. I don't mind the patients, but the paperwork is such a pain. And the bureaucracy! Ugh.
And because of this recent tight schedule ,  I'm forced to squeeze in this week's weekday run here and there. Due to Monday's extended meeting, I got home at 6.30 pm with a splitting headache. And with that, my Monday run went down the drain. So Tuesday, I had to qada  Monday's run and squeeze it in with cross training. This afternoon I forced myself to do that tempo 11.2 K run  on the dreadmill because tomorrow I'm off to a full day course. And in all that stress of finishing the run, I realized I achieved a PB in 10K (62 minutes) which theoretically means that I can  possibly do faster in a race. Betul ke?Ntahla. Must enter a 10K race one of these days to experiment, kan? Cheyy, macam bagus je..haha.
Anyway, this week's 33K LSD will be moved to Friday ( cuti!) bacause Hub has to work on the weekend. Not exactly work but more to some training involved. Wish us luck!( and stamina, and endurance, and enough strength)

And know what? I reinvented my love for grapefruit this week. We bought some in the hypermarket a few weeks ago and they hibernated in the fridge after the kids almost gagged on their tartness. The thing about grapefruit is, it's so sour that sometimes people tend to sprinkle some sugar on it to make it more edible, which totally beats the purpose of eating fruit. But  I remembered a family trick when it comes to eating grapefruits that we acquired 20 years ago. At the time, we were in Canada cause my dad had a 3 and a half year stint with the Malaysian Consulate. Somehow, after a few months of arrival, my dad was so naive he got suckered into buying a carton (!) of grapefruit. After a first bad experience of tasting the bile-bitter-sour taste, my mom chucked the whole carton in the basement and swore off grapefruits for life. Dad wouldn't hear a word of it. He took back those fruits and not wanting anything to go to waste.decided to peram them. And sure enough, after a couple of weeks, the fruits had a slight sweet tinge finally palatable to the tongue. So that's what I did. I kept those grapefruits long enough until it was finally almost sweet. Unfortunately, hub and kids still refuse to eat them. Siap claim lagi , " What is it with women and sour things?"
Beats me.
But try it. I heard that it promotes weight loss and contain anti cancer agents. How true is that, I don't know. Try googling it up.
Have a nice Wednesday!
( ntah papela entry aku ni)

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Finish, dammit. Finish.

Let me tell ya, doing a 30K race is so much easier than doing a 30K LSD. I know many would like to beg to differ but that's the case for me.
In a race, you got no choice but to finish. No matter how your feet hurts, how your lungs burn,  or how far you're left behind, the finish line is main priority from the get go. Doesn't matter if you limp, wobble or crawl finishing, the catch is to finish. It's either that or embarrassingly DNF and riding that ride of shame on an ambulance.
But with an LSD, it's completely different. You are forever tempted to stop at any time you like. Even if you're experiencing the same discomfort in a race ( and can still pound on), it can always be an excuse to cut short your LSD. And it gets worser if you have so many pit stops. You're like okay after 22K but right after starting again after that pit stop suddenly your feet turns to jelly, you feel like blaaahhhh and the urge to throw in the towel seeps in deeper and deeper.
That's what we experienced during today's LSD, after making the last pit stop we felt so lousy to trudge on but manage to commit until 27K. After that everything seemed to hurt, every move seemed annoying and more and more cars were going faster and faster on the road like they're all on a conspiracy to run us over.
 So shamefully we decided to stop, but not wanting to give in to last week's failure, we continued the last 3K on the dreadmill ( not simultaneously, of course). And although I've cursed the dreadmill a whole lot before, today I realized running on the dreadmill is so much " gentler" on the legs compared to that hard, bone splinting tarmac.
And I don't care if anyone out there says, " Pfttr, you can't count a run done outdoors and add a few more Ks  indoors as a whole LSD." Well, tough. And I say it counts and boo-hoo-hoo to you for not having such a flexible concept.

On another note, we should really be taking care of Mother Earth. When we started running at 5 am, it was so hot I was sweating like anything after 5 minutes. And that's in a kampung. Remember when we were young, the nights seem so cool and breezy? Now it's humid like daytime just minus the sun. Imagine how it will be for our kids.
So do your part people, car pool, tanam more greens and go easy on the plastic bags.

p/s I love the idea of plastic free weekend at some malls in some states.
It's funny cause when I go shopping here and decline a plastic bag, the cashiers look at me like I'm a loon.

pp/s Happy Chinese New Year ( especially to dear Cheryl, Fong and Doris)! Live long and prosper.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Looking on the bright side ( or at least tryng to)

Today's LSD was supposed to be 30K. I couldn't get that off my mind. Especially when we actually did only 21K.
I was upset with myself at first. I was doing okay right until the last 1.5K when suddenly the top of my right foot ached and I had side stitches ( on both sides). Hub was running a good 3 meters is front of me and as hard as I tried, I couldn't catch up. So when we arrived at my parent's house for a pit stop kononnya, I felt so tired and frustrated to finish the remainder 9k. So Hub made a bargain, or was it a compromise?. We would stop then and there and next week will be the 30k. It's no use to force myself into injury, he claimed. I tried to stubbornly protest, saying we could go another 5K but with side stitches even while walking, and the sun scorching hot on our heads, I gave in.
And after 15 minutes of rest, I regretted my decision. I know I could do more. So I began to whine. I felt down. I regretted being wimpy.
But now, hours after the run, I'm thinking maybe Hub was right. Sometimes there are okay days and sometimes we need to give ourselves a little break. Today, yes, it was a bad day , planned distance-wise. But I have to be grateful of my accomplishment. Today, although in a relax-relax mode, sometimes we even stopped to walk, I could finish a half marathon distance with the same timing as my PBIM record ( which I did with much gusto at the time). No part of my body ached post run and I 'm not limping like I did back then after PBIM. Hub also finished the 21K without injury, barefooted and improved his PB.
So I guess , malas dah la nak whining-whining ni. What's done is done.
What I couldn't do today can always be achieved another day. Today just wasn't my day, I guess.

Good luck to all of you for PNM. Panas pun panas la, nak buat macamana, dah kita ni duduk Melesia dan bukan Alaska ( ni my ayat pujuk to my kids).
Wish I was there, but Dad's still recovering.
Have fun!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Pounding On (and on and on and on..)

 Ok Go  : Made treadmills look fun ( you liar)

From The Runner’s Rule Book by Mark Remy there's a part on the book that focuses on Runner’s Glossary which explains some common running terms and how to use them properly. I got a kick out of reading this one:

Treadmill (n.)

A primitive torture device first imagined by medieval jailers and perfected in the late 20th century, designed to destroy one’s mind through sensory deprivation and monotony.

e.g ,

Correct: “ I would rather die of hypothermia than run on a treadmill”

Incorrect: “Treadmills aren’t so bad.”


I have this love hate relationship with the dreadmill. When I’m not on it, I admire its sleek ebony surface, it’s shock absorbent belt, its gradual incline program ( okay, I don’t use that one), its incredible durability to withstand constant pounding, its heart rate monitor (that I also don’t use), its ability to fold up despite its mass bulk, so that my kids won’t mess about on it. But when it’s time to do some indoor running, I have to drag myself to get it on, I sigh deeply and sometimes I try to stall, checking emails and FB when I should be pounding away.

When we first got it 3 years ago, we stationed it near the TV in the living room so that I can watch Oprah while doing my lunch break running. Wasn’t a very good idea. We kept getting weird ( not to mention nervous) looks from people who came by. Plus, kids ( and sometimes adults) would ask us to turn it on to have a go at it just for fun ( It’s NOT that fun). After that, Dreadmill was placed somewhere more secluded, between the kitchen and the dining table. It’s a bit cramped there but if you get too claustrophobic, you can always open the window and imagine yourself doing some outdoor running ( iyo la tu).

But no matter how boring it gets on the dreadmill, it’s my only chance to escape with my weekday running. Even when I don’t have time to do a few miles during lunch break, I can always squeeze in that run in the evenings. My kids know better not to come close ( we trained them well) and I can always monitor them while running. Plus, with the kitchen nearby, I could always replenish easily after each run.

I have tried everything I could to make dreadmill running less, uh, dreadful. I’ve tried the iPod, I’ve tried visualizing myself in an actual race, I’ve tried running in different styles, I’ve tried the programmed runs, everything. Sure, it worked for a day or two, after that it’s back to the same old constant monotonous pounding. All I have left is sheer determination to get it over with. It’s either stay on or fall off (wouldn’t want to touch the stop button now, would we?)

And today, I got through 52 minutes of 8K at 6mph on the dreadmill. I could’ve have gone out to have a huge lunch, I could’ve watch Oprah, I could’ve slept. But I chose to follow my training regime; I chose to suck it up.
After it’s all over, I find that it’s so true: You almost never regret the runs that you do; you almost always regret the runs that you skip.
Now for that 9.6 K next week..Sigh.

P/s I read somewhere, some people could run 4 hours straight on the dreadmill. Well that’s just plain sick.
Or warrior-like.